The credo of next-man-up has the Dallas Stars one video game up in the 2020 Stanley Cup last.

Joel Hanley and Joel Kiviranta scored and goalie Anton Khudobin made 35 saves as destiny beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 Saturday in the opening video game of the NHL Stanley Cup last, at Rogers Place.

Hanley, Kiviranta, and Khudobin have all stepped up due to injuries to other players as part of the next-man-up whatever-it-takes mantra of playoff hockey, putting the Stars 3 video games away from their first Stanley Cup in 20 years.

Hanley, an undrafted free-agent signee from Keswick, Ont., scored his very first NHL goal while playing in his seventh successive championship game, changing an injured Taylor Fedun in the lineup after Fedun replaced an injured Stephen Johns.

"It's something you dream about when you're young," said Hanley.

"Just cool to be able to contribute with a goal like that (and) quite cool to be in the finals, too."

Hanley, 29, scored the series opener less than 6 minutes into the first duration when Kiviranta smacked Lightning forward Brayden Point into the boards deep in Tampa's end.

SEE Tampa Bay then got a break on a bounce to tie the game before the period was out. Dallas had not played given that ending up off the Vegas Golden Knights Monday night, while Tampa Bay covered up its series with the New York Islanders Thursday. This is the final round of the so-called bubble playoffs. The Bolts are the very first of the 10 NHL franchises that began play in the 1990s or later to reach the last 3 times. The league reports it has occurred 9 times in its history, the last time previous to Saturday being games 2 and 3 between the Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers.